GABRIEL MEDINA WINS NIKE LOWERS PRO
Young Brazilian Pockets $40,000 Cash, Most Valuable Trophy in Surfing and 6,500 ASP World Ranking Points
Gabriel Medina, 18, has claimed the 2012 ASP PRIME Nike Lowers Pro title, defeating veteran campaigner Glenn Hall, 30, in two-to-four foot waves at Lower Trestles. The win earns him a $40,000 paycheck, a 14-karat solid-gold spike (the richest trophy in surfing valued at $30,000) and major ASP World Ranking points.
Medina got the best of an opening exchange against Hall and held the lead throughout the heat’s entirety, marking him as the second consecutive Brazilian to win the Nike Lowers Pro following Miguel Pupo, 20, in 2011.
“This is a very special win and it has been a long week,” Medina said. “I’m going to Brazil now with more confidence and this has been great.”
Medina’s run at the Nike Lowers Pro was one of complete dominance, as the young Brazilian earned several of the event’s top scores including the only flawless 10-point ride en route to the event’s highest heat-total of 19.80 out of 20 in his Semifinals victory over Adrian Buchan (AUS), 29.
“I love Trestles so much,” Medina said. “It’s just such a good wave and it’s one of my favorites, I just don’t even have words to explain how I’m feeling right now. I’m stoked.”
Glenn Hall proved to be the dark-horse of the event, consistently putting on solid performances on both his forehand and backhand to top ASP World Championship Tour surfers Jeremy Flores, 24, and John John Florence, 19, on his way to the final, but was unable to surpass Medina, finishing runner-up overall.
“It’s Lowers, it can turn on or off at any time in the day. You kind of have to be on to it and luck has to go your way as well,” Hall said. “I had a few lucky heats earlier in the event and that heat was funny with Gabriel. I thought we were going to have an interference in the beginning and they didn’t call it, but it’s all good though. He surfed well and he won.”
Hall, who has been knocking on the door for elite ASP World Championship Tour qualification for several years, is hoping his result at the Nike Lowers Pro kick-starts his qualification campaign for 2013.
“This is a great result for sure,” Hall said. “The way the system is now, if you don’t get results in PRIME events, you don’t qualify, so I’m relieved with this result and am in a good position to try and qualify now. I’m going to do all of the PRIMES and see how we go.”
John John Florence was dangerous at this year’s Nike Lowers Pro, constantly dismantling the Lowers right-handers with stylish carves and massive aerials. Florence launched a full-rotation 360 air in his Semifinal against Glenn Hall for a 9-point score, but was unable to find a second backup score and finished equal 3rd overall.
“I kept having these slow heats and I tried to get a quick start and I just couldn’t put it together,” Florence said. “I had the one big air and got a good score and only needed a small score, I got it and then Micro got a score at the end.”
Florence’s equal 3rd place finish marked the end to an amazing win-streak for the young Hawaiian, who had consecutively won the ASP PRIME at Sunset Beach, the ASP 5-Star at Pipeline and the ASP PRIME at Margaret River. His equal 3rd place result at the Nike Lowers Pro continues to secure his position among the top competitors on the ASP World Ranking.
“I’m stoked to have made the Semis, but it would have been nice to have made the Final,” Florence said. “I was having fun and the waves have been fun all week, so I’m stoked.”
Adrian Buchan consistently put on polished performances at this year’s Nike Lowers Pro, but fell short of a Final berth when Gabriel Medina surfed a near-perfect 19.80 heat in their Semifinal clash and finished with an equal 3rd place result.
“Gabe surfed an amazing heat and obviously got the jump on me from the start,” Buchan said. “I didn’t feel like I ever really hit top gear. I feel like I surfed well in some of my other heats and didn’t catch the best waves, but I guess that’s something I can take away from this event and to still walk away with a 3rd, I’m happy. That heat was disappointing, but you can’t let Gabe have any of those lefts.”
Gabriel Medina won MVP for day four for an outstanding single maneuver. The win pocketed him $500 and the golden jersey for the day. Daily MVP winners John John Florence, Dane Reynolds and Gabriel Medina all went head-to-head in the Final Four, with Medina chosen as the event’s most groundbreaking surfer and overall event MVP adding another $1,500 to his day’s earnings. Visit NikeLowersPro.com/mvp to watch all of the MVP maneuvers.
Time Warner Cable will re-broadcast the Nike Lowers Pro to over 2.5 million subscribers in Hawaii (Ch. 250 & 1250 HD), Los Angeles (Ch. 101), San Diego (Ch. 411), and the Desert Cities areas (Ch. 111) as part of their ongoing carriage of top -flight domestic and international professional surfing events.
On June 16th, highlights from the 2012 Nike Lowers Pro will air on NBC as part of the “Red Bull Signature Series”. The broadcast is scheduled for 1 pm ET (10 am PT). For more information, visit redbullsignatureseries.com.
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